Question was inspired by this user from Yahoo, thought I'd get some opinions on this on Think Atheist.

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Well, my bad then. I haven't read through all nine pages yet.

Possibly, it could be that they saw iron forged from metal ores, ships made from wood, tar, and resin, pottery from clay, and soil from old vegetation and manure. Eventually, someone thought that if all these things are made from the pieces of other things, then maybe all things are made from smaller pieces. Thus one has the beginnings of atomic theory.

I do think your idea about whether abstract ideas exist apart from our ability to comprehend it is interesting. I was tempted to say no, but then I considered the number 0 and other numbers and then math and began to wonder if there was just something about abstract logical ideas that are special or do abstract ideas as a whole exist even if we don't think of them. Maybe start a new thread in the philosophy section about it?

I mean yes, that's right in the sense of a logical progression of smaller and smaller things composing a whole, makes sense, but where does the idea of large amounts of space in solid objects come from?

I only started thinking about dualism the other day that's why I came here. Start a new thread in philosophy? I've already been tarred and feathered here for asking a few questions...

If, for example, we take the idea that there is a material/physical world and an abstract realm of ideas, with consciousness as a bridge between the two, would this not resolve the issues of 'free will' and 'self' which seem problematic from a purely monist stance?

Pure monism seems to have a problem with explaining whether or not free will exists. If we act based purely on processes in our brain, where in the brain can we find a 'free will'?

If we say that there is a dualism between thought/matter, and consciousness is the union between these two, can we not site the self, and free will there? When the material site of consciousness perishes, there is no more link between the two, and no self or will. No immortality (except for the two worlds of thought and matter, which would still exist, and be conserved).

The first section you talked about was actually a point I was trying to make earlier, was that there are probably several states of consciousness. There is no way to tell if that person was conscious, but could it say to itself, "I am."?

I'm not suggesting that there is some kind of "cosmic encyclopedia".

I'm suggesting that there is a fourth dimension (at least) of thought. Perhaps more. Music? Pathos? Time? I don't think the world can sufficiently be explained by just the three dimensions of space, and string theory suggests there may possibly be ten such dimensions...


Well, you certainly can't prove any of what you speak of to be true, you can only deduce the probabilities of it's likelihood, and even then, I fail to see how you could ever prove your deductions were correct. But if you enjoy pissing into the wind, far be it from me to stop you.

Of course a tree makes a sound when it falls in the forest - the same sonic mechanics that act to create the sound a human hears, don't suddenly cease to operate in his/her absence. As far as this planet is concerned, Man is entirely superfluous.

RE: "Heather Spoonheim suggested that some concepts are too large for a single brain to comprehend" - yes, well that was Heather's fault for offering you something you could sink a hook into, and I suspect she's regretting volunteering same.

I am not actually speaking of anything and have never even stated a position since I have none. Every post I have made has been framed as an honest question. You guys seem to be on some kind of blind theist-hunt. I came here because it said "Fellow Atheists, what is your take on Dualism?" I didn't expect to walk into some kind of monist Inquisition.

So thinking = pissing into the wind? If everyone thought that we'd still be living in caves.

We know sonic mechanics exist. We know abstract ideas exist. Does that make consciousness superfluous to both? Sonic mechanics exist in the physical world. Where do abstract ideas exist?

I said: "I fail to see how you could ever prove your deductions were correct. But if you enjoy pissing into the wind, far be it from me to stop you."

Could you enlighten me as to how your ability to prove your deductions would in any way facilitate or prevent our living in caves? I'd just like to understand how your mind is capable of making such a connection.

You've spent a lot of time throwing around E=MC2 - what would you call that, an abstract idea?

I'm not talking about my deductions per se, I'm talking about thinking in general. It has merit, thinking that is, and is not just 'pissing into the wind'.

Yes I would call E=mc2 an abstract idea. Wouldn't you?


E+MC2, combined, as they one day will be, with yet-to-be discovered principles of quantum mechanics, operated the Universe long before Man permanently leaped down from the trees, and will continue to do so long after the trees themselves are gone. Our "abstract idea," regarding E+MC2, was nothing more than our perception of its effects, much as we derive our concept of what causes wind by watching its effect on the objects around us.

Have you another explanation?

Yes, they operate the universe, but my question is where do they exist? Everything else we perceive exists somewhere. I can see the table. It is there. Where is E=mc2? If E=mc2, what does E+mc2=?

Where does the number 1 or 2 exist? As Sagacious Hawk suggested, and against my better judgment, am reposting this in the philosophy forum under the title "Dualism and Monism - An Atheist Viewpoint". I've tried to order some of the questions I think are appropriate, and hopefully bring some structure to this tangled thread. I just want to state again, AGAIN, that I am not offering answers, since I don't even have a position to argue from. I'm just posing questions I think are interesting. Thanks


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